Photos from Cosmo Couture 2014

The annual fundraiser pairs D.C. design firms up with manufacturers to turn building materials into runway-ready ensembles.

Backstage, a team puts the finishing touches on their creation. Photo courtesy of Spotted MP.

Backstage, a team puts the finishing touches on their creation. Photo by Scott Kelly.

Models took to the runway last Thursday night for the IIDA Mid-Atlantic Chapter’s fifth annual Cosmo Couture at Artisphere in Arlington, Va. The event pairs twenty-five local architecture and design firms with manufacturer partners to design a garment, eighty-five percent of which must be material provided by the partner. Proceeds from the evening benefit My Sister’s Place, a D.C. shelter that provides a safe haven and services for survivors of domestic violence.

According to event chair Pedro Nunez, this year’s theme was a “tribute to the image that most exemplifies Washington, D.C.: the presidents.” Each team was tasked with exploring the events, social issues, and the fashion trends of their randomly assigned president’s time.

CORE's finery, modeled by Becca Elmore and inspired by President William Howard Taft, won the Haute Couture Award. Photo courtesy of Spotted MP.

CORE’s finery, inspired by President William Howard Taft, won the Haute Couture Award. Here, model Becca Elmore takes a victory lap. Photo by Scott Kelly.

FOX Architects won the Best Interpretation of Theme award with these rags, inspired by Lyndon Johnson and modeled by Juli Sproules. Snap by Natalie Grasso.

FOX Architects won the Best Interpretation of Theme award with these rags, inspired by Lyndon Johnson’s ’60s and modeled by Liz Wimer. Snap by Natalie Grasso.

Kristen Carleton, a designer at CORE, said that the get-ups took about six months to create, and that the event is an “extracurricular” for the busy designers, who spend hours after work refining their entries. CORE’s dress, inspired by President William Howard Taft, won the coveted Haute Couture Award for the way that they re-interpreted cherry blossoms — which arrived in Washington during the Taft administration — for the runway, with mesh backing, glass tiles, waterproofing membrane, and penny rounds. CORE’s manufacturing partner was Architectural Ceramics.

Other winners included Wingate Hughes (Best Performance); Interplan (Most Creative); VOA (Most Unique Material); WDG (Audience Favorite); and FOX Architects (Best Interpretation of Theme).

Proud founder (and publisher of this site) Bob Fox beamed at that final announcement. “They worked so hard on this,” he said. “What a fun night.”

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